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Photo: Michael J. LeBrecht II/NBAE via Getty Images

ESPN announced on Wednesday that it will be removing longtime basketball reporter Rachel Nichols from all NBA coverage, and her daily show "The Jump" is getting canceled, the Sports Business Journal first reported.

Driving the news: The move comes more than a month after the New York Times released a leaked audio recording of Nichols, who is white, suggesting that her colleague Maria Taylor, who is Black, was chosen to lead ESPN's NBA finals coverage because the network was "feeling pressure" on diversity.

  • Nichols said that she had been promised the role as part of her contract, the SBJ notes.

What they're saying: "We mutually agreed that this approach regarding our NBA coverage was best for all concerned," David Roberts, ESPN's senior vice president of production, told Axios.

  • "Rachel is an excellent reporter, host and journalist, and we thank her for her many contributions to our NBA content," he added.
  • "Got to create a whole show and spend five years hanging out with some of my favorite people," Nichols tweeted. "'The Jump' was never built to last forever but it sure was fun."
  • Nichols ended her tweet by saying, "More to come ..."

What's next: "The Jump" will continue to air for a few more weeks, but Nichols will not be hosting, per SBJ.

  • ESPN will launch a new NBA afternoon show, but no details have been released.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Sep 29, 2021 - Sports

Reports: NBA outlines COVID protocols plan for 2021-22 season

Photo: Shen Chunchen/VCG via Getty Images

The NBA released its tentative health and safety protocols for next season to teams on Tuesday, detailing how different it could be for vaccinated and unvaccinated players, ESPN reports.

Why it matters: Roughly 90% of NBA players are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, per an earlier statement from National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). They would have fewer restrictions under the NBA's plan, but unvaccinated players would have to undergo daily testing including before games, per ESPN.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.

3 hours ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.